Run (2) !

I ran the “Jogging Ville de Namur” last week. I choose this race to be my first after those (*cough*) long months of training, mainly because of the interesting course characteristics. It’s a 14.5km course with a steep climb to the “Citadel de Namur” at the beginning. Apart from the last 4km, there are very little flat pieces, so you’re always either trying to pace yourself going downhill or pushing those legs back uphill.

In summary, here’s how it went.

At the start, I managed to hold back and not get tempted into a higher pace by all the faster runners. Nevertheless my heart rate went immediately up to 180, i don’t think i ever saw it going lower after that. This was expected though, after all it’s a race :-) The climb to the citadel was steep as expected. My experience from the OsterFelder Mountain Run 2 years ago came in very handy: I slowed down to 8km/h, took smaller steps and changed my course to side of the track where there were less people. Knowing that i wasn’t going in the red there made me more confident for the rest of the race. I recovered a bit after reaching the top, then upped the speed again and went through a series of smaller hills. My main concern again was not to stay in the red for too long and keep a comfortable but fast pace. I tried following a few other runners whom i estimated had a pace similar to mine, but none of them held it constant. So i gave up on that and decided to rely again on my watch to keep things “going”.

The main descent afterwards led us back to the riverside. It was particularly nasty because the course there was in bad shape, lots of holes and stones. Nevertheless my speed peaked at around 16km/h, knees and feet getting pounded big time. I thought about holding back first but then decided that not fighting gravity was probably the least tiring option. During the descent i first caught sight of the 1h15 pacer guy again, whom i had lost track of during the ascent to the citadel. (a “pacer guy” is someone you can follow in order to finish the race in a particular time, these are usually experienced runners that have volunteered to do this. There was a pacer for 1h, 1h10, 1h15 and 1h30). So with the pacer guy about 200 meters in front of me i had found myself a goal: catch him! This actually proved to be quite difficult, as he wasn’t going to slow down just to let me join the group. I ended up going passed him only about 500m before the finish!

The last 4km took us next to the river “Samber”. I maintained an 11km/h pace here and even managed to up my pace to 12km/h the last km or so. Heartrate went through the roof ofcourse, but at that moment I just tried to blank it out and go for broke. I crossed the finish line in 1h14, way below my 1h30 target and with a 39/35 negative split !

For those interested in graphs and stats, i have uploaded an annotated image on Flickr:

Jogging Ville de Namur Statistics

My next goal will be a marathon of some sort but i haven’t decided which one. London is probably 3 times oversubscribed by now, Paris looks tempting, or maybe i will just pick a local one in the area here. In any case if you can recommend me one around april-may 2007 let me know !!

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